Italian Lesson #70

Buongiorno a tutti,
As I mentioned in last week’s column, I look forward to receiving and sharing some mail from you, i lettori dell’ Italian Tribune, about your Italian language experiences. Please write me at with your stories and/or questions related to the following:

  • How Italian was used in your family
  • How your Italian was improved
  • How your Italian faded with time
  • Why you study Italian
  • What your goals are with la bella lingua

Lo scorso weekend, la mia famiglia ed io abbiamo fatto un viaggio ai Poconos. A great time was had by all and, as usual, my son only heard italiano from his papà, while hearing inglese from everyone else. This is not as difficile as it may sound, it just requires two fundamentals: consistency and authenticity. You will notice I use these two words frequently as I describe my bilingual parenting voyage.

Consistency: Gli parlo sempre e solo in italiano. I leave it up to everyone else in his life to speak to him in the language of Shakespeare. I am sticking with Dante!

Authenticity: Per esempio, quando penso che lui abbia fame, gli chiedo, “Hai fame?” e di solito lui risponde con un “Sì!” I speak to him about serious things (his hunger; the status of his diaper—il suo pannolino), cute things, everything in Italian.

 Basic Possession
Adesso, back to your Italian…We will review possession (agreement) in more detail later, but you should learn the basics early on:

il mio = my il nostro = our
il tuo = your il vostro = your (“you” plural)
il suo = his, her, your (formal) il loro = their

“E` il mio libro”

“Non è il suo bar”

“Dov’è il nostro albergo?”

“Quando e` il tuo volo?”

 Exercise 1:  How would you write the following phrases with possessive adjectives: Another way to form possession is to use the Italian word for “of,” di:

Il libro di Gianni Gianni’s book
Il vestito di Silvia Silvia’s dress
Il computer di te Your computer

 Last week’s answers: Exercise 1: 

  1. Gianni aspetta qui.
  2. Loro comprano un giornale.
  3. Domani noi guardiamo il film.
  4. “Alessio, quando mandi la lettera?”
  5. Io mangio con Pietro stasera.

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